War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0576 OPERATIONS IN W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., AND LA. Chapter XVI.

complied with by the committee. The same course was pursued those in charge of naval affairs; their bills were paid and money furnished them to go ahead. We discovered that the naval department was largely indebted, without credit, and we sent a special agent to Richmond to obtain for it the necessary relief. The committee also sent out agents through the country obtaining food for the citizens, keeping a capital of $250,000 in circulation, and selling the supplied thus secured at cost. The committee never refused assistance to any reliable man who was endeavoring to develop the strength of the city.

By the COURT:

Question. Did the Committee of Safety communicate to any persons in authority the result of their inquiries as to the contractors Tift & Co.? If so, to whom, when, and what was the exact purport of such communication?

Answer. The committee did communicate the results of their investigations, particularly in regard to the Mississippi, to captain Mitchell, Commander Whittle, and General Lovell. they all replied it was a matter not under their control. The Tifts replied to the sub-committee, after they had waited upon them many times, that they were responsible to nobody in New Orleans, and exhibited a paper to that effect.


Question. State all you may known, and your means of knowing, of the ability of the founder men in New Orleans to cast guns of heavy caliber.

Answer. When the committee organized, some of our earliest efforts were directed to obtain such guns. We found all the founderyman willing to undertake the manufacture of large guns, but Bennett & Surges was the only firm ready to go to work upon them immediately, and they would only work upon condition that no army officer should have anything to do or say about the matter, except to test the guns after they were complete. They might subject them to any test they pleased; if the guns stood the test we should pay for them; if they burst it should be their loss entirely. They were then ready to make 8-inch guns,and they were willing to make models for and begin he manufacture of guns of any caliber that we might call for. We at once contracted with them, without stipulation as to price, for all the 8-inch guns they could make until ready to make larger ones. At the time the city fell they had cast five 8-inch guns, two or three of which were completed and the others on the lathes in process of completion. The models for 9-inch rifle guns were in a forward state. The guns that where completed were immediately turned over to the military authorities. I was on the sub-committee that superintended the construction of the heavy 8-inch guns; not at first, but taking the place of a member who had retired. I was in the founder nearly every day and saw the work progressing. Messrs. Bennett & Surges complained that they had not been patronized by the Government. In my opinion heavy guns could have been made in the city from the beginning of the war. Bennett & Surges were most anxious to engage in such work. They had made a heavy gun, which was mounted at Columbus and Island Numbers 10. They complained that they had always been willing and able to make heavy guns, but had received no encouragement from the Government. Messrs. Bujac & Bennett, by their individual efforts, built air-furnaces, had six lathes all abreast for making guns up to 11 inches in caliber,and when the city fell they were egged in casting their first heavy guns. Their machinery and works had been begun and completed within the six months prior to the fall of the city.

Question. Were you present in the city during the evacuation and the removal of public stores by our troops? If yea, state all you may know on these subjects.

Answer. I was there. On the day in which the enemy's vessels were coming up to the city, hearing that the Marine Hospital, which had been converted into a factory for the repairing of arms and the making of cartridges, had been broke open by the populace, I went in that direction. I found them carrying off arms and everything pertaining to an establishment of that sort. In the founder of Bennett & Surges several brass pieces, nearly completed, were left, also a heavy gun, and these should have been removed. After the troops under General Lovell had been removed, the foreign guard, at the instance of the city council, was keeping guard over many of the Government warehouses, to prevent the people from breaking into them. This is all I know of my own knowledge on these subjects. On the day of the arrival of the enemy's ships, but previous to their arrival, I saw large quantities of sugar, molasses,